Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Grace and peace to you as you celebrate our Lord's birth.

With Christians throughout the world, we gather with profound joy to ponder what God has done for us in the coming of Jesus.

Christians have always understood the birth of Jesus in relation to God’s initial work of creation. Today pondering creation is an immersion into mystery, as science has come to an understanding that the universe came into being over 14 billion years ago, and our earth was created in the neighbourhood of 5 billion years ago. That vastness, both in terms of time and space, leaves us scratching our heads in wonder    .

Equally beyond our imagining is how God, Master of the Universe, should become a part of that creation. When God created human beings, and the human condition, our faith tells us that God created us in God’s own image and likeness. I find it helpful to think of this as God creating what was most persona l, offering to that creation what was most generous, fashioning what was most beautiful.

The human condition has been a messy business from the outset. God's response was not rejection, but love beyond all telling. For God to then take the extraordinary decision to become one of us, for the creative Word in whom all things were created to become part of that creation in, in order to redeem it - this is the incomprehensible mystery that we ponder today. What more could God do, what could be more loving , more extravagantly generous , more lavish in mercy, than that?

The Easter season provides the full answer to that question. For now, we are invited to come quietly, in awe and reverence, imaginatively placing ourselves before the Eternal Word, author of all that is. Not only has God taken flesh, but has come in powerlessness, in vulnerability, loving us into life, granting us hope, teaching us what it is to be human.

As St. Paul wrote, "O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!... For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen" (Rom.  11: 33, 36).

Dear brothers and sisters, let us rejoice before this great mystery. And let us seek to follow Him with all our heart and soul and mind and strength.

May God pour down abundant blessings on all of you, your loved ones, all those in need, and all you carry in your hearts! Merry Christmas!

+ Donald Bolen

Archbishop of Regina

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